Anybody, besides me, recognize this? In case you genuinely do not know, this is a clothes line. You rarely see them anymore. But until 1990, I used one of these at least once a week, usually more often. And, oddly, I miss it.
For the most part I am delighted with the improvements to my life by way of modern conveniences. Things like, oh say, indoor plumbing. Huge fan of indoor plumbing. And I honestly do remember when my grandparents in Michigan still had an outhouse. When they finally got an indoor bathroom, well, let's just say that I never before or after saw my Grandmother happier. She might have even cried a little bit and I don't blame her one single bit.
Modern washing machines are wonderful. They are so amazingly wonderful that I chuckle to myself every time I hear someone complain about having to do laundry. While I never had to beat my clothes on a rock in a stream to wash them or even use a washboard, I did use a wringer washer a very long time ago where everyone was on constant alert to be certain that I didn't crush my fingers in the wringer. Nowadays having the luxury of throwing things into a box, a "pod" of laundry detergent in after it, closing the door and pushing a button is no hardship.
Vacuum cleaners are another wonder. While I've never had to toss a rug over a tree branch and beat it with a stick to clean it, which is what my Mother did as a young girl, I have used a carpet sweeper which is the same thing as doing nothing. Those were the most useless pieces of equipment. Carpets were filthy in that era. Floors were swept and swept and swept again. Now I can vacuum the floors and the carpets and then with a few deft changes to the machinery also vacuum furniture and if I had any, draperies! Much easier and much cleaner.
A dishwasher! Yes there is a modern convenience that I can stand behind. I honestly think that the dishes come out much cleaner with a dishwasher than washing by hand. While I never really minded washing dishes, it played havoc on my hands. It turns out that there is something in dishwashing soap...all of them...that I'm really sensitive too and when I washed dishes all of the time I had a terribly painful rash on the skin of my hands. I didn't have a dishwasher until we moved to Colorado. It. Was. Awesome. Now I hope to never be without one.
But a clothes dryer? Well now there is something I feel completely differently about. While a dryer is very convenient on a rainy or snowy or below zero kind of day, the rest of the time, I actually enjoyed hanging clothes out on the line. I used wooden pegs, not the clippy kind with a spring on it, and I just enjoyed the rhythm of it I think. Standing outside enjoying the feel of the sun, the fresh air, the fragrance of freshly washed clothes, pegging the clothes to the line, one piece after another until it was all hung out to dry. I loved watching it ripple and flap in the breeze like living thing. By the way, the snap of a wet sheet in an autumn breeze sounds exactly like the snap of a flag in the same breeze. And then, a few hours later, taking the clothes back down, folding each piece into the basket like bread dough into a baking pan. There was just something so very satisfactory about it. And of course the scent of sun dried clothes simply cannot be replicated by dryer sheets no matter how hard they try. Yes, line dried towels are a little rough, but I even liked that. Think of it as an exfoliation treatment. The house smelled better back then because everything in the house was dried on the line outside and brought that wonderful fragrance inside back in.
When we moved to Colorado we lived in an HOA that forbid (forbid!) clothes lines. Seems to me that in a place with more than 300 sunny days a year and a reputation for being ecological forward thinking that using sun power to dry clothes would be a no-brainer. Nope. Forbidden.
We no longer live in an HOA community, but we also don't have a clothes line. I know that during the summer the high humidity would probably not help anything to actually dry, but the rest of the year it's glorious here! Perfect for sun-dried clothes.
Yes it's quicker to use the dryer and I do. It's efficient, it's fast and it does a good job. But while I adore all of the rest of my modern conveniences, I really miss using a clothes line.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.